How to Improve Thinking Skills of a Child
Now, here’s a question that many parents are curious about – How to improve thinking skills of a child. It’s something that’s vital to any child’s development and that’s why we wanted to write a blog – to help shed light on this question.
Firstly, What are thinking skills?
Thinking skills are the mental activities you use to process information, make decisions, and create new ideas. You use your thinking skills when you try to make sense of experiences, solve problems, make decisions, ask questions, make plans, or organise information.
Everybody has thinking skills, but not everyone uses them effectively. To improve a child’s thinking skills, he/she must master the art of ‘Critical Thinking’. Critical thinking means making reasoned judgments that are logical and well-thought out. It is a valuable skill that adds better judgement and an enriched thought process to one’s life. Critical thinking is hard to develop for adults but since children are easily impressionable, it can be instilled in them with careful measure over a period of time.
The benefits of critical thinking can enhance one’s life in ways unimaginable. It promotes creativity and is the foundation of science and liberal democratic society. Critical thinking allows an individual to be independent and is an asset in any career.
How to Improve Thinking Skills
As a parent, one can adopt the following ways to help children develop critical thinking skills. Here is how to develop critical thinking skills in child
Encourage your child to read often as it improves their comprehension skills and stimulates their mind. It is the first step to be taken in the process of developing the skill of critical thinking. The child should be exposed to books on a regular basis so that he/she develops an interest in reading and indulges in it with enthusiasm. You can find a great selection of free age-appropriate comics and books for children in the GetLitt! Library.
These books can also serve as great conversation starters with your kids. This is a wonderful way to draw them into a discussion on the theme of the book, a possible different ending etc. all of which encourage critical thinking in the child. The GetLitt! Library has a variety of books that you can use for this purpose – Tara’s Elephant, Dear Mrs. Naidu, The Unboy Boy, My Best Friend, Vikram and the Vampire are just some of the many amazing Indian children’s books you can start with.
2. Read, Repeat and Revise
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Give your child an extract to read and when they finish reading it, ask them to summarize what they have just read. It helps them to determine the truly important highlights of a written piece. It also makes learning the extract easier for the child because when you explain a concept to someone, you are likely to remember it better. Go back to the same extract after a while to retest their memory and ability to recollect what they have read. This is an extremely important exercise as it improves the child’s brain power which will increase his/her ability to think critically.
3. Entertain their Questions
Often times, children ask questions that come off as very silly to any adult. So, we dismiss it and tell them to stop bothering us. This behaviour is highly discouraging and often, we don’t even realize what we’re doing. Because of this, children develop a sense of insecurity within themselves. Answer questions with enthusiasm!
Try to understand where they are coming from and then, clarify their doubts – their questions might seem foolish to us but they are genuine questions for the child. Entertain their weird questions too, encourage them to think out of the box. As the famous quote goes, “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.”
Additionally, indulging in answering their questions is likely to improve your bond with them as well! These are the little things that show your child that they can rely on you and that when needed, you will have their back.
4. Ask THEM Questions
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Along with entertaining their questions, you should ask them a few riddles and mind-boggling questions on a regular basis too. Thinking is an exercise for the brain. The more a child analyses, the higher his/her ability to think critically. Even when you are reading a book with them, keep asking questions about the storyline. It is a simple way of testing their comprehension skills and a chance for them to demonstrate their critical thinking. Asking questions allows a parent to keep track of what the child is able to recollect along with tracking what they haven’t understood. It is an extremely efficient way of working on a child’s thinking skills.
5. Read the Newspaper Together
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Here is an activity that’s fun for an older child who has a keen interest in the world around them. The newspaper is filled with information about current events in relatively difficult language. Daily reading of the same will introduce the child to a wide range of new vocabulary along with the on-goings in the world. Knowledge of current events and exposure to advance-level language stimulates a child’s brain development and results in quick thinking along with the given benefits of increased awareness and improved language skills. Furthermore, it gives you, a parent, the opportunity to spend more time with your child.
Metacognition is awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes. In order to develop critical thinking skills, the child needs to make the transition from the negative “I can’t” to the positive “How can I?” in challenging situations.
To do that, they need to think about why they’re stuck, what’s bothering them, what measures they will need to take to get out of the situation. They need to think about their own thinking, which is metacognition in a nutshell.
This form of self-reflection has proven that children who are taught metacognitive strategies at an earlier age are comparatively flexible and more successful, as they are able to analyze and assess all the benefits and drawbacks of a situation well. They are able to comprehend both sides of a coin, which allows them to formulate their own judgement without being dependent on others.
7. Putting Two and Two Together
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A child’s ability to associate one object with another is crucial for critical thinking. While reading, their mind should be able to create a connection between two paragraphs or sentences. The flow of knowledge should be smooth to achieve a quick and efficient thought process. This procedure of connecting the dots allows them to assess complex situations and come up with an effective solution when required.
8. Be Patient
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When trying to improve your child’s thinking skills, patience is key. During this process, you might get frustrated but as a parent, you must remain patient and considerate. Nothing good is easy and nothing easy is good. Developing your child’s thinking skills has an extremely fruitful long-term benefit. It shapes them into independent, well rounded and resilient individuals who are capable of self-reflection and adaptation to change.
That’s all Folks!
Critical thinking is the key to developing your child’s thinking skills. It keeps them one step ahead of others and builds a sense of awareness as well as confidence within them. Inculcating the habit from an earlier age is a sign of good parenting as you are preparing your child to think for themselves and encouraging them to formulate how to express their ideas in a unique way. We, at GetLitt!, hope that you enjoyed reading this informative article and if you’d like to read more we have a whole blog section dedicated to Reading and Writing tips and tricks, so do check that out. If you found this article interesting, please do share it on your socials and make sure to take us we love hearing your feedback!
Until then, if you’d like to spend some quality time with your child, why not subscribe to GetLitt! today? We’ve got incredible award-winning Indian children’s books that make excellent bedtime stories, so check out our library!
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